Sunday, January 2, 2011

My oldest existing illustrations

Found these tearsheets in an old portfolio, from a time when I picked up some illustration work from a regional newspaper. I enjoyed it back then, reading the story, coming up with an idea in an hour or two, getting right to work and having the painting on the way to the newspaper in a day or two. Hard to imagine myself turning anything around that quickly now - guess I'm out of practice. I was glad that they assigned me the most serious of stories, despite my wonky, big-headed cartoon style. Back then I worked with thin acrylic washes and coloured pencils.

My mistake was that I didn't take this bit of experience and returning to Toronto with my portfolio to seek a greater variety of work. Instead I just hung around waiting for the newspaper in London to call me. But then the paper went on strike for a couple months. When they reopened, the Saturday supplement where they published these stories had been discontinued. I let my illustration career return to dormant. Don't know what I was thinking, but it's been my pattern over the years.

A story exploring the best ways to aid the poor

Still single after 30

I would have been 28 when I did these, but I could sense my impending bachelorhood. I identified with this story.

The death of a child

How to teach AIDS prevention in schools. I was trying to do something with the birds and the bees, benign on one side, threatening on the other. I don't know if that worked - too literal. Since it was 1990, the sexually active teenage male of course wore a mullet.

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